Olympus FE-170 review

Started Dec 29, 2006 | User reviews thread
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pooky125
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Olympus FE-170 review
Dec 29, 2006

I bought this camera a few weeks ago when I was visit San Francisco. I have owned several other point and shoot cameras, all but one by Nikon. I decided to step out of the box, and give the Olympus a shot. I wanted a cheap camera I could throw in my purse and take with me. My Nikon 5700 wasn't travel friendly and there was alot of walking around in the rain in my near future.

There were a couple things about this camera I really loved. It was small, and lightweight. I could store it just about anywhere and take it with me. Even more then that, I could hand it to my camera illiterate father, and even he could figure out the different features and take some pretty decent pictures. Mind you, I pushed this little camera to it's limits in the two weeks I had it.

I'm not much for taking people pictures, so I never tried taking the standard snap shot or portrait with this camera, but I'm very much a macro and nature photographer. In the macro area, I was not disappointed. The picture were clear and crisp. Almost to the point of my old Nikon. I couldn't get quite as close, but that was expected.

The Panoramic feature could have been a good one, if I'd ever gotten any worth pieceing together.

However, there were also quite a few little flaws with it as well.

The pictures frequently had very dull colors. A little photoshop work could fix it, but I've never had a camera that I couldn't just pull the pictures out of the camera and print them up. I wasn't a fan of having to edit all of them.

Also, any distance pictures were less then par. Salvagable, yes, but I'd gotten better pictures from my old Nikon Coolpix 4300.

The image stabilization was basically pointless. Often, I found it did more harm then good. It didn't seem to keep the pictures any clearer, and they were far noisier then without it. I had high hopes that Olympus might have had a grasp on that technology. Apparently, they haven't quite gotten that one mastered yet. Disappointing.

While it wasn't an issue for me, this is a very small camera. Anyone with larger sized hands will have a hard time getting there fingers around it, and still being able to use all the features. I have pretty small hands, so it fit in them quite well for me, but any bigger then mine, and it would have been a challenge.

The most frustrating feature of this camera, was how fragile it was. I was always afraid I was going to break off the battery door, and for as often as I had to change the batteries, it was very frustrating. It ate batteries like none other, but rechargables and Alkalines.

The LCD screen was also very fragile. This camera lived in its case, on my purse strap. Not more then two weeks after getting it, I pulled it out of its case, to find it's screen cracked in several places, making the camera inusable. I'm not much of a view finder person, but now would have been a good time to have one.

Overall, I was rather disappointed with this camera. It couldn't take a night shot for anything, even if it was on a tripod. They were all so noisy they were unsalvagable. The colors were lacking, but the pictures were clear and the macro was fantastic. It wasn't a total waste. I don't think I'll be buying another Olympus anytime soon however.

If you want to see sample pictures, they can be found at www.pooky125.deviantart.com Leave a message and I'll tell you which ones are with the Olypus and which ones aren't.

After this camera broke, I went out and bought a Canon A540. It was a little more, and a little bigger, but well worth the money.

Problems:

Pro's:
~Good Macro
~Clear Pictures
~Easy to use

Cons:
~Battery Cover
~Battery Life
~Flimsy LCD screen
~Poor night photography
~Very noisy unless in bright light

pooky125's score
3.7
Average community score
3.4
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